Scandal unfolds as stamp duty evasion worth Rs 1.16 crore discovered within Noida Authority. Investigation underway.

Investigation Reveals Long-standing Stamp Duty Evasion

Noida Authority is gearing up for a recovery process concerning a substantial stamp duty evasion case related to surface parking. This scandal resurfaced after five years when the Registration Department initially investigated and issued an RC (Revenue Certificate) of Rs 71,680 against parking contractor Rajendra Singh for suspected stamp theft.

Recurrence of Irregularities

In a surprising turn of events, the Noida Traffic Cell (NTC) officer within the authority repeated the mistake by allocating surface parking contracts to two companies, Rajendra Singh and Krishna Gopal Vashishtha, on stamp papers worth a mere Rs 100 to 150.

Preparations to Address Stamp Duty Evasion

After uncovering stamp duty evasion exceeding an alarming Rs 1 crore 16 lakh 1 thousand 211, the Registration Department is taking proactive measures to recover the unpaid revenue from both contractors involved.

Previous Stamp Duty Irregularities

This isn’t the first instance of stamp duty irregularities within the Noida Authority. In 2018, an RC for stamp theft was issued against Rajendra Singh. This earlier transgression resurfaced during the allocation of surface parking tenders in 2020, resulting in the collection of Rs 88 lakh across Cluster 1 (Work Circle 1, 2, 3) and Cluster 3 (Work Circle 5, 8, 9). Furthermore, an additional stamp duty evasion of Rs 75 thousand 287 was detected.

Authorities Raise Concerns

Recent developments prompted a high-level meeting between officials from the Registration Department and Noida Authority CEO, Dr. Lokesh M. During this meeting, AIG BS Verma and DIG Arun Kumar Mishra expressed grave concerns about potential stamp duty evasion in tenders issued by Noida Authority, especially those related to surface parking and outdoor advertising. They sought permission to conduct a comprehensive investigation into these allegations.

Scrutiny Extends to Outdoor Advertisements

According to regulations, officials emphasized that every parking or advertising tender should involve a two percent stamp duty deposit by the contractor within the Registration Department. Consequently, the CEO granted permission for the investigation and delegated the task to the NTC department. NTC in-charge AS Sharma provided information regarding three parking tenders linked to contractors Rajendra Singh and Krishna Gopal Vashishtha. Currently, the investigation is focused solely on scrutinizing surface parking tenders, with plans to assess outdoor advertising tenders at a later stage.

Stamp Duty Payment Dispute

A significant point of contention revolves around the classification and payment of stamp duty. The Noida Authority issues tenders for the operation of surface, underground, and multi-storey parking, classifying them as licenses. Parking contractors traditionally have submitted tenders on stamp paper valued between Rs 100 and 150. Conversely, the Registration Department considers these contracts as leases due to their duration, which may span one, two, or five years. According to regulations, contractors must pay stamp duty equivalent to two percent of the average annual rent for the entire tenure. This complexity arises from differing interpretations and regulations.

This ongoing investigation sheds light on significant concerns regarding financial oversight within the Noida Authority and the interpretation of contractual agreements between the authority and contractors. The findings are anticipated to have far-reaching implications for stamp duty regulations and oversight practices in the region.

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